Covid-19: Travel Advice for Irish citizens in Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia
News16 March 2020
The situation regarding Covid-19 is a developing one and measures outlined below are subject to change. We advise checking latest regulations on the websites of the relevant authorities, which can be found below.
Please monitor the situation in Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia through the Embassy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as local media and contact the Embassy at email@example.com if you have specific concerns.
If you are an Irish citizen abroad, register your contact details through our Citizens’ Registration system so that the Embassy will be able to contact you quickly in the event of any major developments that may affect you.
Please note that as of 16th March on, anyone arriving in Ireland from abroad (including Great Britain but not Northern Ireland) is obliged to restrict their movements for a period of 14 days. This applies to Irish citizens and residents as well as visitors. For further information and advice on travel to Ireland please click here.
As of 13th March, Bulgaria has declared a state of emergency due to Covid-19 for a period initially up to 13th April. During this period travel to and from certain countries may be restricted, both in terms of air travel and crossings at land borders. This is an initial period, which may well be extended.
At the moment there is no ban on arriving in Bulgaria from Ireland but the list of restricted countries is subject to change depending upon the assessment of the Bulgarian authorities. The list may be expanded to include Ireland without warning. Please note that the restrictions on entering Bulgaria are based on the place where you are travelling from and not on citizenship. As the UK is on the banned list, the ban applies to people arriving from Northern Ireland, even if travelling on an Irish passport. You may also be affected if you transit through a country that is on the list. These travel restrictions do not apply to Bulgarian citizens or those who hold a residency card for Bulgaria.
Anyone arriving in Bulgaria is subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days.
Please be aware that airlines, for their own reasons, are cancelling and suspending flights with little notice given. After Tuesday 24th March there will be no direct flights between Sofia and Dublin for an indefinite period. See Ryanair's website for further information.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises its own citizens to refrain from travelling abroad unless absolutely necessary. Similarly, if you are resident in Bulgaria and wish to remain in Bulgaria over the coming period, you are advised NOT to travel outside the country.
- Irish citizens living in Bulgaria who wish to remain in Bulgaria during the coming period are advised to avoid travelling abroad.
- Irish citizens visiting Bulgaria who wish to return to Ireland (or another place of residence) over the coming period are advised to do so now.
Under Bulgaria’s state of emergency, only food shops, pharmacies and petrol stations may remain open, with some provision also for banking and insurance services. Only over-60s may visit shops between 8.30am and 10.30am. All entertainment and sports events have been cancelled and venues, including gyms, closed. Entrance to parks is allowed only to those walking a dog and maintaining proper physical distance from others. Restaurants and bars are also closed, with only some limited takeaway facilities allowed to operate. Internal travel within Bulgaria is restricted to those with documentation proving a legitimate, urgent need to move between cities. Further information on measures being taken in Bulgaria may be found on the website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Bulgaria (BG).
In connection with the Covid-19 global pandemic, the government of Georgia declared a state of emergency on 21st March 2020, to last until 21st April 2020. As of 21st March, all scheduled flights to and from Georgia have been suspended with permission only granted for a limited number of Georgian Airways and specially chartered repatriation flights. It had previously been announced that from 18th March for two weeks foreign citizens would not be permitted to enter Georgia. This measure does not apply to individuals with a spouse or child who is a Georgian citizen.
- Irish citizens visiting/living in Georgia who wish to return to Ireland (or another place of residence) should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to enquire about bookings on the remaining available flights.
Further measures implemented in Georgia due to Covid-19 include closure of non-essential shops and services with only food shops, pharmacies and petrol stations remaining open, with some provision also for banking and insurance services. There are also certain internal travel restrictions. For up-to-date information on the situation in Georgia please visit StopCov.ge.
In connection with the spread of Covid-19, the government of the Republic of Armenia has declared a state of emergency for 30 days from 16th March. Measures to be taken include restrictions on travel into the country from a number of countries affected by Covid-19 outbreaks, as well as restrictions on travel out of the country by Armenian citizens. Restrictions apply to both land borders and air travel. Entry into Armenia is barred to those travelling from Ireland or who have been there within the previous 14 days. Several airlines have already suspended services to and from the country and the situation is evolving rapidly.
- Irish citizens living in Armenia who wish to remain there during the coming period are advised to refrain from travelling abroad.
- Irish citizens visiting Armenia who wish to return to Ireland (or another place of residence) over the coming period are advised to do so now.
Further measures implemented in Armenia due to Covid-19 include closure of non-essential shops and services. Food shops and pharmacies remain open. Measures to restrict movement have been implemented, including a requirement for a self-declaration when leaving home. There are also restrictions on travel within the country. For up-to-date information on the situation in Armenia, please visit the websites of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.